The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the sequel to the 2012 movie, The Hunger Games. Both movies are based on the books of the same name written by Suzanne Collins. I’ve never read the books, but I’ve seen both movies. The movies star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen the defiant and victorious young woman from district twelve of the dystopian society of Panem. In the prior movie, Katniss and Peeta Mellark are thrown into the Hunger Games, a competition between a group of young men and women selected from the various districts. The competition is brutal to the point of death: only one individual is allowed to survive each completion. The last movie ended with Katniss and Peeta, under the guise of a romantic attachment to each other, becoming the first pair of individuals to survive the Games.
The second movie begins where the other one left off. Katniss and Peeta must make the rounds as Victors. They visit each of the districts together to spout a few “profound” words about duty and honor and what-have-you. Stuff to placate the masses. But things are changing. The two young “lovers” were only spared because they threatened to commit suicide in defiance of the tyranny of the Games. That defiance is being picked up in the districts outside the Capitol. Now, the scent of revolution is in the air. And the rebels have chosen their symbol: Katniss, whether she likes it or not. Seeing the up-spiral in unrest and the growing popularity of Katniss, President Snow (played by Donald Sutherland), the leader of the Capitol, decides that all the Victors are a threat. So, he “changes the rules.” Now, on the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games, a new competition (he claims it is the third) is called for: the Quarter Quell. This is a competition in which only Victors play. The rules are the same as before: only one can survive. Is Katniss strong enough and courageous enough to survive the Quarter Quell? Find out in Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Strengths: the acting in the movie was fine, the storyline was good, there were no serious logical flaws that I could see. And the special effects were excellent and well-used. They didn’t go overboard on the special effects, and that is a resounding plus. Weaknesses: I thought the character of Katniss was a little bit whiny. Maybe it was just me. But she seemed a little bit hopeless about the whole living under a tyrannical dictator the whole time. And then there was the unrest, and she was trying to quell it. Basically, I kind of thought that her whiny-ness would interfere with her whole becoming the symbol of the revolution bit. Maybe it was done better in the book, but on the screen something was lacking.
Anyway, I’ll still give Hunger Games: Catching Fire a solid four stars out of five.